What are intellectual property rights?
In its simplest form, intellectual property relates to something you make with your mind – like artwork, literature, and inventions.
It used to be relatively easy to enforce these protections in the analog age, but our digital world – where copy-and-paste abounds and millions of people create their own content – makes things especially difficult.
Non-fungible tokens are an exciting development with the power to update everything from baseball cards to music albums, and from movie merchandise to stunning art. But, as with any new technology, there are issues to overcome.
The industry is still dealing with the rights granted to NFT owners, and there are other threats that need to be addressed. If a non-fungible code is stolen by a malicious actor, will the victim still have intellectual property rights? And how can we counter the risk of copying counterfeit NFTs onto a rival blockchain?
When I buy an NFT, do I automatically get IP rights?
The short answer to this is no. It’s important to read lowercase to know exactly what you’ll get.
Let’s review some quick examples. Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet in the form of NFT for $2.9 million in March 2021. While there is no doubt that this is a historical piece of content, crypto entrepreneur Sina Estafi does not own the IP address of this tweet. All copyright remains in Dorsey’s hands.
The New York Times did a trick when it published an article about crypto holdings — and then gave readers a chance to own a token version of the story. It ended up selling for a whopping 350 ETH – worth $560,000 at the time, and about $600,000 as of the beginning of August 2022. Although NFT did come with some perks (the buyer was given the opportunity to be named and filmed at a later date. piece,) did not include the copyright of the article … or any copyright or sharing rights.
The potential pitfalls don’t end here either. MetaBirkins gained particular fame during the NFT boom – a digital version of the popular Hermes bags. But digital artist Mason Rothschild ended up in hot water with the designer brand, which took legal action after claiming it could cause confusion in consumers’ eyes.
Which NFT groups have granted intellectual property rights to the owners?
Some of the largest NFT groups in existence today – Bored Ape Yacht Club among them – have given full intellectual property rights to users.
This is an important (and you could say, very generous) development. This effectively means that those who possess the NFTs of the bored monkey have the ability to benefit from them. We’ve seen the team of Eminem and Snoop Dogg team up for a new music video where they transform into their characters. Meanwhile, sites have emerged where collectors can effectively recruit monkeys’ NFT for brands.
As we noted earlier, actor Seth Green teased him when he revealed plans to create a television show under the title Bored Ape NFT, which he named uniquely, called White Horse Tavern. Green’s beloved collectibles ended up being stolen in a phishing attack, and he ended up paying more than odds to get them back.
The BAYC license states that those who buy an NFT “own the basic boring monkey, the art, in full” — but it doesn’t actually say what happens in cases of theft. Many experts believe Green would have been on a firm legal basis if he had released the TV show without NFT, but there are no guarantees.
How can NFT and Web3 protocols help transfer intellectual property rights?
The 21st century has turned into an intellectual property warzone and a graveyard of innovation – but things are starting to change.
New and improved NFT classes have the ability to certify the authenticity of non-perishable assets, protect their uniqueness, and simplify management rights.
This approach is backed by InvArch – a scalable and interoperable IP rights blockchain with ambitions to be integrated across the Web3 world. The Invention, Share, Inventory and Investing Protocol (known as INV4) provides piracy-resistant files as well as on-chain copyright and licenses.
Illustrating a potential use case for how to transform its approach to the creative sector, the project paints a picture in which decentralized music studios and record labels can thrive – where individual artists contribute distinct elements. They can then be combined together to form a song with a large number of beats and splits – with each contributor retaining their own intellectual property rights, jointly owning the rights to the song, and sharing a portion of the royalties.
Can smart contracts be used for intellectual property agreements?
Yes – business deals can be brought into the 21st century with the help of blockchain.
InvArch’s goal is to ensure that those who own the most popular NFTs – including CryptoPunks, Bored Apes and Meebits – can create on-chain agreements that extend to the use of non-perishable tokens in a third-party product.